Cars drive on the right in Puerto Rico with overtaking on the left. It is a good idea to know some Spanish when you are driving in Puerto Rico as that as local language. However you can get by on English. In the cities try to avoid driving during the rush hour times of 8 AM – 10 AM and 4 PM - 6 PM as traffic then is always bad.
Roads in the countryside can be quite dangerous because they have narrow bends and local drivers may not always slow down. Driving defensively is a good idea with a warning honk just as you turn a corner. Other roads may only have one-and-a-half lanes so proceed carefully.
Although there are good quality roads in Puerto Rico you will often find it faster and more comfortable to travel on the toll roads. They are quite cheap, only costing $1.50 for small vehicles.
It is worth knowing that distances in Puerto Rico are measured in kilometres but speed limits are done in miles.
Always have a good map or rent a low cost satellite navigation system from us as signs can be few and far between. Also make sure to get a car with air conditioning as it is always hot and humid in Puerto Rico.
Do not move the car unless it is dangerous not to do so. Then phone the police on 911 and your car hire company. You should try to swap insurance details and addresses with the other driver. Take pictures of the accident if you have a camera handy. Police cars can be recognised by the blue bar on light on the front of the vehicle.
It is illegal for drivers and passengers not to have a seatbelt on and children who are under 12 years of age need to have a proper child seat and sit in the back.
Because Puerto Rico is affiliated with the United States motorway signs are exactly the same in the US although the writing may be in Spanish.
Petrol is sold by the litre and not the gallon and visitors will find that petrol is little bit cheaper than on mainland America. Although prices are variable it may cost $1.74 per litre in San Juan.
The drink driving limit is 0.08. There can be serious fines and jail time for exceeding this. If in doubt do not drink and drive.
You need your home driving licence if you are American, or an International Driving Permit if from other parts of the world. Have some proof of insurance and your passport handy too.
Only if you are American, otherwise you need an international driving permit.
Highway – Carretera
Stop – Pare
Toll Roads – Autopista
Toll Pass - RFID Autoexpreso
Yes there are three toll roads in Puerto Rico. For this reason you should always have some change handy. They are quite cheap only costing $1.50 for small vehicles. Although there are good quality roads in Puerto Rico you will often find it faster and more comfortable travel on the toll roads.
The left hand lanes are reserved for RFID (Autoexpreso) toll passes so ask our staff about the possibility of getting one of these. Otherwise you should head for Lane A which accepts coins or Lane C if you need change. Lane C is usually on the far right hand side.
25 miles per hour in the city
45 miles per hour on country roads
55 - 65 miles per hour on highways
It is worth knowing that distances are measured in kilometres but speed limits are done in miles. $50 speeding tickets are issued by police, with an extra $5 for every mile that you are over the speed limit.
The conversion from kilometres to miles per hour is one kilometre = 0.62 miles per hour. Therefore 45 miles per hour is 72 kilometres.
To drive in Puerto Rico you need to be at least 18 years old but car rental companies will likely only rent to you if you are over 23. There may be a young drivers surcharge for drivers between 23 – 25 years of age.
The emergency services number is 911.
The Puerto Rico Tourism office is at La Princesa Bldg. #2 Paseo La Princesa Old San Juan, Puerto Rico 00902.
The UK Embassy in Puerto Rico is at Torre Chardon, Suite 1236, 250 Chardon Av, San Juan Puerto Rico 00918. Their contact is (1) (787) 758 9828.
Your best bet for parking in the capital San Juan is to look for a parking lot called La Puntilla. This always has spaces and only charges a fixed daily price. Do not even bother looking for somewhere to park in the Old Town as there are very few spaces.